By Babajide Okeowo
If States Board of Internal Revenue Service is to generate more taxes, there is an urgent need to leverage the use of technology.
This is the position of the The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami.
Nami gave the advice at the 46th meeting of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) in Abuja on Friday.
Nami said the theme of the meeting “leveraging technology solution for enhanced administration of indirect taxes” was chosen due to the reality of the current economic challenges in the country.
He said oil revenue was no longer feasible due to dwindling oil prices in the international market hence the need to put necessary strategies to enhance non-oil sector for maximum revenue generation. He disclosed that in 2019, it was only N250 billion that was generated from oil taxes, adding that what would be generated in 2020 would be far less than that of 2019.
“We must leverage technology to enhance tax collection, the concept of using manual models in collecting revenue is no longer obtainable.
People do a lot of businesses that you don’t see physically, they do it online, and we must use electronic systems to tax such persons or companies.
We meet the state tax authorities to talk to ourselves on how we can use technology, data and information to enhance tax collection in their respective states,” he explained.
Nami, who is also the chairman of JTB, told the state’s revenue board chairmen to brace up in the course of diversification of the economy in the country. He added that attention must be shifted from oil to non-oil revenue and technology was key in achieving that.